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Sweet Fellowship: Duggars and Friends (aka the Bates Family and Other TLC Families Thread)

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Kelly responded to a question in her blog and said that Crown College was accredited.  A quick google search says it was "pre-accredited" in 2012 by the Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools, Accreditation Commission.  

 

Regardless, I'm glad Erin got a degree -- especially after she got married.  I'm sure it will help her if she wanted to teach piano in private Christian schools but I seriously doubt she wants a full-time job. 

Edited by RedBaron
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I highly doubt they are paying Lawson back at all. Instead of running to your son to help pay for the other children, they should be finding ways to support their numerous children. Selfish nitwits.

Exactly, and I think they would be appalled if Lawson even suggested they pay him back + interest. I just hope Lawson's business doesn't go through a lull causing him to run into financial difficulties - I'd be too afraid that there'd be no one he could turn to for assistance.

Edited by trimthatfat
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Lawson said that Zach and Erin paid him back and that they are good about paying him back -- so I'm not sure why we're doubting that part. Whether his parents do or not is a different story -- maybe the money is seen as his contribution to the household instead of being a buddy or doing housework.

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Just watched this nightline link.  The Bates family (or the BATESES!!!!) are not nearly annoying as the Duggars.  The girls's voices are a little grating now and then, but the family is very likeable for the most part, and the kids all seem really well-behaved, unlike the Howlers.  All very attractive, too!

 

Wish they were on TV more often--without the Duggars, that is.

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The Bateses are okay. They are not obnoxious in some ways like the Duggars, but the Duggars did start out on television as a nice family with an unusual amount of children.

Edited by bigskygirl

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Lawson said that Zach and Erin paid him back and that they are good about paying him back -- so I'm not sure why we're doubting that part.

 

I clearly didn't hear him say that. I'm glad they have paid him back.

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I finally watched it.  I didn't know it was hosted by JuJu Chang.  JuJu Chang is an honors graduate of Stanford, and knowing this makes me even more annoyed at her misuse of Bates.

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I saw a picture of Kelly and Gil's wedding day. Kelly was so gorgeous and Gil well he looked so different I didn't even recognize him.

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I finally watched it.  I didn't know it was hosted by JuJu Chang.  JuJu Chang is an honors graduate of Stanford, and knowing this makes me even more annoyed at her misuse of Bates.

The program seemed poorly done to me. I would not have enjoyed their having anything hurtful toward the family, but for a network show, I expected more in-depth background on the culture. It could have been both respectful and informative, I believe. We all like to snark here, and I wouldn't have liked snark on this program, but I expected some history of the ATI movement perhaps, some cultural insights. 

Edited by mbutterfly
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Hi everyone, I'm new here (long time lurker though!)

Which Bates spouse/courtin' partner do you guys think is best looking? I actually think Michael's Brandon is the cutest, with Chad Paine as a fairly close second. John Webster is not attractive to me and while I think Whitney is a pretty girl, I think if Zach hadn't put weight he might have done better (now I feel mean haha... but that is what I think!).

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While I don't agree with their religious beliefs and find many of the ideas to be outdated, I will say the Bateses seem to be more affectionate and more open to each other than the Duggars. During their short-lived show, Kelly bought that book as a joke for Erin. Gil plays games with the kids and actually works with the boys on projects. The kids laugh and joke with each other during the talking head interviews. Zach, who is now married, was seen carrying one of the younger boys into Alyssa and John's house. Kelly and Gil both usually have at least one child in their laps.

 

It doesn't excuse the fact that they are basically raising their children in what amounts to a cult, but at least they seem much happier and healthier. My mother was raised only a few miles away from where they live now. It is a beautiful area and their lifestyle isn't so strange or obtuse there, as things are pretty old fashioned. The lack of television/internet and the like is odd, but there are large (6-8 kids) families, Evangelical Christians, etc. in every corner. Most people there work in a handful of businesses or commute to Knoxville.   

 

I'm proud of my college education, but my family there still sees it as a waste of time and money. So Alyssa and the others wanting motherhood over a career is not unusual at all.

 

Agree and on the wedding special for Erin, Gil was mocking Erin's crying about how she won't be living at home anymore and when Gil said "well you can come spend the night whenever you want," she continued to cry that it wouldn't be the same. It was a very normal father-daughter interaction that you'd see in many families -- fundie or not. Zach has said that now that he's married and all of a mile away, whenever he comes home there are kids climbing all over him. They do seem like a family that loves and likes each other a lot.

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Each bridesmaid chose their own dress, so some were hand sewn and some were store bought. Love, Kelly

 

Kelly said this in answer to a question under the latest pix on their site. I thought the sleeves were all a bit different but the fabric seemed to be a match so I also was wondering about the dresses.

 

eta: Kelly answers lots of questions under those last pix.

Edited by Almost 3000

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I finally watched Alyssa's wedding and I couldn't stop thinking how much fun she'd would have loved Prom. And probably a Sweet Sixteen party. Homecoming Dances. 

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As both Kelly and Michelle are Baptist girls, I doubt proms were high school highlights for them.  My church planned alternative activities for the youth group on prom night.

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She became religious when she was 15 though. So, she may well have gone to the Baptist "prom," so to speak.  We know that Boob/Mullet's first real date was his Senior Banquet from his private Christian school. The show regularly puts that pic out there.

 

As for Kelly, she was a preacher's daughter, but her family seems pretty mainstream (pants-wearing women, etc). She may well have gone to an actual prom.

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There's not a denomination-wide rule against Baptist teens attending normal school proms.

 

I was bored and went through the Bates blog and found the entry where Kelly announces Zach and Whitney's courtship, posted 7/17/13. This set really moves fast! In the comments section, she answers questions and explains why she and Gil changed their minds about {gasp} holding hands before being engaged:
 

For us, we found there are two extremes…avoiding all contact and emotions or having too much contact and emotions. Different people have greater weaknesses and struggles. The goal for all is purity. Temptations are real, so whatever a couple needs to set in place to maintain purity is important…but where to draw that line can be difficult to decide and must be constantly reevaluated. For us, accountability and chaperones have been a huge help. At the same time, we’ve seen far too many couples that are married that don’t express ANY affection for each other…hmmmm…that’s not good! So, we feel that it is important to learn to express feelings and wholesome affections…but again, where to draw that line of temptation may be different for couples.

 

But they're still against kissing before marriage and pro-chaperone:

 

I did kiss before marriage, but was still nervous about the unexpected of marriage. Nervousness isn’t necessarily a bad thing… it is kind of innocent and normal, I would suspect. So, I don’t think waiting to kiss would have made things harder for me, concerning awkwardness. I think it would have built anticipation and appreciation. For me, and based on struggles we faced, I think kissing before marriage placed us under much greater temptation. We stayed pure until marriage, but I do wish we could both say we saved our first kiss til marriage. I don’t know that I would have wanted my first kiss to be in front of 200…lol…I would’ve probably held something up to playfully block the view! But I do know that we both realized we had shared an intimacy with others through kissing that we wished had been reserved for our one and only true love!

 

If you’ve ever been madly in love with someone, alone under the stars, then you’ll know what I mean by temptation! You can have all the good intentions to be pure, and plenty of people have stuck to that commitment, but all would probably admit they experienced some pretty serious temptations to engage in experiences that could have been saved for marriage. Chaperones are just an extra precaution that someone who realizes they are weak in their own strength may choose to use.
Edited by Dejana

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I wonder if Kelly's dad was a Southern Baptist preacher, Independent Baptist Preacher or some other denomination?

Also, does anyone know if Gil is ordained?

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While the Bates are very similar to the Duggars, for some reason I actually believe when they say the couple gets to decide what they will/won't do before marriage. I'm not suggesting that sex or even kissing would be ok with the parents. But I am pretty sure Erin and Chad were holding hands before engagement; after engagement there were several shots of her sitting in or practically sitting in his lap at her parents' home. I'm not sure what Zach and Whitney did, but I wouldn't be shocked if they were kissing before marriage -- maybe not in front of his parents but here and there when they had a moment alone. There have been pictures of Michaela and Brandon sitting right up against each other and they are not engaged. And all the kids seem to hug normally whether courting or engaged or whatever.

 

I think the failed courtship that Zach experienced may have caused the Bates to loosen the reigns a little. Zach even said that he was so nervous sitting right next to a girl because he had never done that before. That I think has led Gil and Kelly to think about their own dating experience (and probably every fundie couple they know) -- they dated normally and kissed etc. and turned out fine; no reason to deny their children at least some portion of that so they can decide if there is any physical attraction or if the person is just a buddy.


What I don't understand though is the over the top photo shoots that all the Bates esp. the girls do upon being asked to court. It is no different than an engagement photo shoot. I get that Kelly has said that by the time you start courting, you've spent enough time in the "get to know you" period that you know you want to move towards engagement, and then engagement is basically just to give you time to plan a wedding. But still there is a chance that in going from "get to know you" to formal "courting" where you are probably spending a lot more time together and maybe talking more specifically about life goals/plans, you could realize this really is not the one or that you have some fundamental difference that didn't come out initially. I know these sects are all about "not giving away your heart," but having been asked to court in some romantic way and having had 100s of pictures taken -- how would it not hurt if a courtship broke up? You would look back at those pictures wistfully just like any other couple that breaks up.

 

I think Ben asking Jessa in the office was a little too "business like," but there's got to be a happy medium between that and bouquets of roses and fancy restaurants followed by perfectly set-up photo shoots.

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@cerality - regarding the Gothard fundies making such a big deal over the courtships, I think a lot of that is TV driven. And then once one or two of them make a bit of a production of it a lot of the followers will try and emulate them.

I spent some time about 10 years ago around some Gothardites, when some came to my church and then homeschooling group. Courting was starting to be a "thing" but it was definitely not a huge production at all. In fact, most of the families I knew didn't make a big deal out of it and kept it a little on the down low so their kids had the freedom to change their minds.

And I so agree with you about how that big production paints that kid in a corner and no matter what they say, they ARE giving their hearts away.

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Was Zach's broken relationship a courtship or engagement? I know I read another fundy blog where the son's engagement was suddenly called off, days before the marriage and yeah, that had to be crushing. I find it interesting Zach went from super fundy girl to a normal religious waitress at the Sonic. Whitney seems to be a very nice young woman. The complete over the top courtship proposals are ridiculous and it appears the Bates put more importance on them than many others. Jill's was nice, Jessa's was awkward and seemingly TV driven, but they weren't these massive affairs. I remember seeing the "engagement" crap on Kelly's blog from Princess Erin's and was kind of appalled. 

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I think Kelly is a big part of the difference in the lavishness.  Kelly seems to appreciate the pomp and circumstance more.  She appears more involved with both her kids and their friends.  I don't doubt that she knows the kids well enough to put forth some suggestions. 

 

With Michelle, I think she doesn't know her kids well enough, makes no effort to get to know their friends, and it would all be too much bother for her to help set up anything unless she's being filmed doing it (setup with Derick). 

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I don't know a thing about the Bates Family, but I was reading here and looked at their website. I don't know who wrote the bios of each of the kids, but it seems like the kids have distinct personalities and interests, the latter of which I can't say the same for the Duggars. It seems like the Bateses (did I do that right?) let their children develop those characteristics. (Unlike the Duggars)

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Didn't Zach and Whitney forgo chaperones? I remember reading something about some family within their circle that did this. It's possible I'm making this up and getting my shows mixed up, but it sounds true for some reason (lol). 

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Was Zach's broken relationship a courtship or engagement?

 

It was a courtship; Kelly blogged about Zach's breakup, as the courtship had been made public:

 

Any parting of a relationship causes pain, and although we would love to avoid heartaches in life, it is through these very trying times that character and faith often grow. For Zach, it has been a time of learning, thinking, and drawing closer to Christ.

 

  Zach is grateful that he and Sarah hadn’t chosen the traditional path of dating, since it protected them from wrong goals and further pain. The three main goals of their courtship were 1. to maintain purity, 2. to discover if they were the right life partners for marriage, and 3. to honor God first and foremost in their relationship. In that sense, their courtship was a success, as they achieved each of these goals.

 

Although the relationship did not progress into engagement and marriage, their time together was focused on strengthening their walk with the Lord, and therefore ended in friendship. Zach is grateful for having developed a relationship with Sarah and her family. He has learned valuable insights from the example of their family harmony and love for God. In spite of the pain of parting, he is full of memories and experiences that have encouraged him, strengthened him, challenged him, and humbled him. He can appreciate the growth that has taken place in his life as a result of these circumstances.

 

According to Kelly, at least, the Bates children are all saving the big kiss for marriage. She answered questions about Erin, Alyssa, et al not being so "hands off" in the post announcing Zach's courtship:

 

Hearing the testimonies of some hand off married couples helped us reevaluate our thinking on holding hands. Sometimes in fearing bad choices, we make extreme choices that can be just as dangerous. That is not to say that hands off relationships are bad…we might have some children who decide to go that route and we’ve seen others who did that were a wonderful testimony. For Zach, after months of tears and hurt, he realized he didn’t really even know how to communicate with girls. Whitney became a great friend that encouraged him spiritually and emotionally through his heartache. When she went through a hard relationship, he in turn, encouraged her. They learned a great deal about communication and they became best friends…through thick and thin.

 

We’re letting the couples decide if they want to hold hands. Chad and Erin want to wait until engagement to hold hands. Zach was very slow and careful deciding to court this time after past hurts, so they both prayed a long time about the decision to court. Their relationship is more like an engagement or pre-engagement because they got to know each other so well and they’re already picking dates…lol! They didn’t want to skip the courtship time and go straight to engagement though, because it’s been such a fun time for Erin and Chad. It’s been the time for dating in a wholesome and pure way with all the fun and creative ways to learn to show their feelings and grow in communication. Zach wanted to hug Whitney just when he asked to court…in full view of their chaperones, of course. Erin and Chad want to save their first “real” hug for when he asks her to get engaged. They gave a side hug at the time of their courtship and give side hugs when they first greet if they haven’t seen each other in a long time. For photos, they have done cute poses that have Chad’s arm around Erin and such, but its always with chaperones and is just for pics. They like having special times for innocent pics and such, but they also like having chaperones and accountability so they don’t place themselves in too great temptation.

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I'm sorry, but if you have to pray to your chosen deity about whether or not to hold hands or how to fucking hug a person (Side hug? Front hug? What if I get a boner?!) , you've got issues. It's beyond over the top. Or, maybe I'm just cranky today? 

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But still there is a chance that in going from "get to know you" to formal "courting" where you are probably spending a lot more time together and maybe talking more specifically about life goals/plans, you could realize this really is not the one or that you have some fundamental difference that didn't come out initially.

Except that the girls are not allowed to voice any goals/plans beyond being a SAHM.

I'm sorry, but if you have to pray to your chosen deity about whether or not to hold hands or how to fucking hug a person (Side hug? Front hug? What if I get a boner?!) , you've got issues. It's beyond over the top. Or, maybe I'm just cranky today? 

Agreed! And if I were Zach or any of these  kids, I would be pissed off and mortified that my mom was sharing all this personal relationship stuff on a blog.

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Since Zach met Whitney all on his own and they seem to have seen each alone before the courtship, chaperones seem to be superfluous in that case.  I'm glad that the Bates parents seem to be actually letting the couples make a few decisions on their own.

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Sometimes in fearing bad choices, we make extreme choices that can be just as dangerous

Maybe by kid #14 they'll have gotten a bit more moderate. That's a huge thing to admit.

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Why does Kelly think it's ungodly for the I married Chad and Erin not to put their arms around each other in real life, but was ok to do it "just for pictures." What?

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Zach is grateful that he and Sarah hadn’t chosen the traditional path of dating, since it protected them from wrong goals and further pain.

 

 

Considering the end of the courtship caused the Bateses parents to change their rules their way of obviously failed. Zach was still hurt and they had to admit it didn't work and change their rules.

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Maybe by kid #14 they'll have gotten a bit more moderate. That's a huge thing to admit.

I agree, but then Kelly is also saying that Chad and Erin were allowed certain poses for pictures only prior to engagement. Like...huh? So we can be affectionate in a 'normal' way when cameras are present, but not off-camera? That is so bizarre to me. I find their courting rules as suffocating as the Duggar rules even with them seemingly re-evaluating their rules and trying to make changes.

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Sometimes in fearing bad choices, we make extreme choices that can be just as dangerous.

 

Boy, if that doesn't sum up 90% of the super fundie families' approaches to life....

 

I think what they're going for here is honorable. I'm sure most here are familiar with the feelings of new love and how much you want to be "together". Many normal people want to wait for marriage before having sex. However, I think I can say with accuracy that this is not as easy for most couples to accomplish as it is for them to say! My sister and BIL-to-be have some pretty strict rules that *they themselves* (my mom told me they're being stricter on themselves than she would have come up with) have put in place to keep themselves where they want to be, physically, before they get married in november. Sure, they're a little extreme, but I think they have a much better chance of accomplishing their goal than numerous other couples who have the same desires but don't put in the same safeguards. I think that's the basic concept the Bates etc are going for - the only way to guarantee or as close as possible, that the couple will stay, uh, apart, is to have things like chaperones and limit the together time and so on.

 

As for the dating vs courting, goals of each, etc, it's all semantics and I think they do know that but just have their chosen verbiage.

 

Footnote: I just realized I'm going to be witnessing the aforementioned sis & almost BIL kissing for the first time from the matron of honor spot. I wonder if I can politely suggest that they discuss technique and who goes which way in advance.

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Footnote: I just realized I'm going to be witnessing the aforementioned sis & almost BIL kissing for the first time from the matron of honor spot. I wonder if I can politely suggest that they discuss technique and who goes which way in advance.

As sister and matron of honor, it is your duty! 

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I think it is admirable that they want the children to protect their hearts, but I also think that it is odd that some of these children and the Duggars say 'I love you' during the courting process. IMO, that should be discouraged. I mean, they can say 'I love you', but they can only touch when posing for pictures...it's just an odd approach that I wouldn't want for my own children.

 

Zach going through his first courtship only to realize he didn't know how to communicate with women makes me quite sad. IMO, socialization between the sexes is a very good, healthy thing. I'm glad he was able to overcome that and I hope he shares some words of wisdom with his younger brothers about the experience.

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I think this "guarding your heart" stuff is baloney. These kids, male and female alike court like they are 14 year olds and fall instantly in "love" with the first person of the opposite sex that is allowed to say hello to them. They are head over heels infatuated and their hormones are in hyper overdrive from being on "ice" for their whole lives so far. The only thing they guard is their "body part" if you ask me. Jill and Anna were perfect examples of that. In past episodes, Anna looked like a dog in heat when she was around "Joshua"...she breathed heavily, had exaggerated eyes upon him, and that hand sex, was disgusting. She was ripe for the picking. Jill, flipped over Derick in the same way over skyping with the guy. He was her very first "male allowed" conversation ever. Of course, she , too, was in hyper overdrive hormone-wise. She traveled across the earth to meet the guy...This is guarding your heart?? No way, IMO, was she protecting herself. They put the chastity belt on, Daddy has the key, but that's it. They are already gonners for these guys. It's natural for a young woman to react this way with her first crush. Sadly, I really think that's all it really is. They also are quick to marry while still in this beginning stage, so they are "drunk" on hormones.. planning for a wedding, the one and only day that it can really be about those girls,the attention being a bride, then the honeymoon...and babies. They are on a merry-go-round ride. When the "real him" begins to surface, or the "real her" surfaces, it's too late as they are already stuck and probably on their way to being parents. So sad to start life still as an emotional child.
 

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@floridamom I cosign your whole post. Your comment about Anna in particular has me laughing because I just watched the engagement episode and every time they showed Anna looking at Josh, it was like she was panting and couldn't even stand up straight. I think the mere idea of being THAT CLOSE to just being able to kiss is overwhelming to these kids. And the hand holding...that right there is emblematic of the problem of not allowing normal human interaction during courtship. Let them hug! Let them kiss! Because OMG, by the time they are allowed to actually touch someone (even just hands) they can barely stand it! There were so many moments in those episodes where you know without doubt what they were wishing and hoping they could go off and do if someone would just let them.

 

You are so right about the 'protecting their hearts' being a bunch of BS. At the mere idea of a potential courtship,they are gone. And the thing is, the silly crush-like behavior is because they aren't allowed to have normal human interactions and relationships. If I were 24 and hadn't even kissed someone, let alone touched them, I'd probably find nearly anyone attractive enough to want to marry just so I could get some action! LOL

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I don't think these girls (or guys for that matter) guard their heart or anything else but the physical side. Every courtship or potential courtship or even a get to know you stage is SO exciting because these people have never even been allowed to have a conversation with the opposite sex; they never had a normal interaction with a boy in math class or in an after school club or god forbid at a party. The idea that any male pays them any kind of attention is so exciting that they completely go "ga ga" immediately. It's bad in the sense that it is pathetic, but it is also bad because it sets up a situation where they are so excited about the male attention, potential courtship and marriage that they are probably willing to let small red flags slip by. If they secretly wish to have a family of 5-6 or secretly wish to have some part-time female oriented job like teaching music from home or being a part-time midwife -- and the guy says "oh I want as many as God gives us and I can't see myself being a father to less than 15 and no woman of mine is working" -- I can see these girls just nodding along because they don't want to scare off the only boy ever that has ever spoken to them.

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The do the crazy courtship stuff because their cult leader bill Gothard told them to. And they all so do it out of pride and arrogance. "we have the higher standard, so we are better than the unsaved world and compromisers out there."

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I feel sorry for David and Pricilla really. He is a nice guy but there is something not right with Prissy. 

 

I was watching/listening to her talk on a video the other day and I honestly wondered if she is developmentally delayed. The way she spoke was just so...off...to me.

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Zach is grateful that he and Sarah hadn’t chosen the traditional path of dating, since it protected them from wrong goals and further pain.

Except Kelly also said he cried for months over losing Sarah.  How is that protecting anyone's heart?  Maybe if they didn't go into every relationship hoping and planning for their future spouse, they'd experience less heartache. 

 

None of these people are guarding their hearts; they're just encouraged to marry the first person they feel that first pang of puppy love for. 

 

Priscilla, poor child, I do worry about her.  She seems so completely off, even compared to some of the duller Kellers, Duggars, et al.  At first I thought she was "slow," but then I started being reminded of mannerisms women who had traumatic events in the childhoods can cultivate (for example, that baby voice).  For her sake I hope it's neither of those things, and she's just a little simpleminded and unusually happy.  I do wish she'd married a guy who seems less likely to have to potential to be a horrible husband (besides being flamboyantly gay, Gayvid gives me the creeps and doesn't seem any more of a mental giant than Priscilla.)

 

Between Gayvid Waller, Suze's ex-boyfriend and John Shrader, it seems like ANNA was the one who won the fundie husband lotto.  God, that's a depressing thing to think about.

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After observing David Waller's interaction with Pris after marriage, I can't help but wonder if he is a nasty, arrogant snippy, PMS kind of guy. He called her out of her parents' mobile home, summoning her like she was a paid servant in ancient times. She "came- a-runnin' when he called.That girl, (and she will be eternally one) doesn't have any comparison as to how a real good husband should interact and treat his wife. I, too, can't help but wonder what's up with her? She sounds juvenile, like a shy 6 year old girl. Haven't her parents noticed? They seem to have lived a more normal life and marriage early on with some experience to draw from. Yes, sadly, I too agree that Anna has won the "husband lottery"...such a low bar, but she's the winner so far!!! I didn't even know that Anna had brothers...who are they? Are they functionally delayed too? I wonder who they will end up with?

Yes, I agree with you, WTFFF and other posters here that the Bateses don't "guard their hearts" at all either. They, too are gonners for that first one. They only set their kids up for more heartache if it doesn't lead to marriage because they have absolutely no growing up time emotionally and no social skills whatsoever. These are all growth experiences which develop the skill in decision making. For these people, and for most of us out there, the person we decide to marry is a major decision in our lives, it shouldn't be rushed, guarded, or pressured in any way, shape or form. This belief system chokes any air out of a relationship, if you can call those courting rules a relationship in the first place....

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After observing David Waller's interaction with Pris after marriage, I can't help but wonder if he is a nasty, arrogant snippy, PMS kind of guy. He called her out of her parents' mobile home, summoning her like she was a paid servant in ancient times. She "came- a-runnin' when he called.That girl, (and she will be eternally one) doesn't have any comparison as to how a real good husband should interact and treat his wife. I, too, can't help but wonder what's up with her? She sounds juvenile, like a shy 6 year old girl. Haven't her parents noticed? They seem to have lived a more normal life and marriage early on with some experience to draw from. Yes, sadly, I too agree that Anna has won the "husband lottery"...such a low bar, but she's the winner so far!!! I didn't even know that Anna had brothers...who are they? Are they functionally delayed too? I wonder who they will end up with?

Yes, I agree with you, WTFFF and other posters here that the Bateses don't "guard their hearts" at all either. They, too are gonners for that first one. They only set their kids up for more heartache if it doesn't lead to marriage because they have absolutely no growing up time emotionally and no social skills whatsoever. These are all growth experiences which develop the skill in decision making. For these people, and for most of us out there, the person we decide to marry is a major decision in our lives, it shouldn't be rushed, guarded, or pressured in any way, shape or form. This belief system chokes any air out of a relationship, if you can call those courting rules a relationship in the first place....

 

I do think Priss might be mildly delayed in some way. I've always had a bad feeling about Pa Keller and it wouldn't surprise me if there was an abuse situation going on there. TFDW has abuser written all over him. Erin Bates and her husband seem like the more mild manner version of them. I don't think Erin's husband is gay, but he has a mean look in his eyes and she's almost as dim as Priss. Mrs. Keller looked like one of the scared sister wives you see on a  Dateline special when we first saw her, so I'm not holding out hope she would have protected her daughters. 

 

Anna does have brothers, but I want to say they are all younger, probably 16 and below. I know I saw them when Josh and some of the Duggar girls went to Florida to help make dresses for the wedding and they looked on the younger side. 

 

I will say, the way we've seen the Duggars approach to courting and engagement seems down right normal compared to the other stuff I've seen. Mock Josh's cheesy proposal, but that was much more normal than Princess Erin's. Jill and Jessa had low key courtships and Jill's proposal was nice, but nothing like Erin's or even what Zack did for Whitney. I think Jessa's would have been kept under wraps and possibly ended if Ben's aunt hadn't blabbed on Facebook and that's why there's been no engagement yet. They really are taking it slow, but the last pics I saw of them did have an engagement photos look to them. Jill and Derrick were kept quite too until it was an up coming storyline that would be seen. Kelly barely let her daughters say yes before she had the blog post written and updated. 

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I was watching/listening to her talk on a video the other day and I honestly wondered if she is developmentally delayed. The way she spoke was just so...off...to me.

She is very childlike. It's the voice and the fact that if you really look at her eyes, there doesn't seem to be anything there...like the lights are on, but is anyone home?

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I believe the eldest Keller sibling is a son, Daniel? IIRC he's been kinda shunned since he moved to another state because his wife wanted it (abdicating his headship status). He's no longer in the cult either. Actually, haven't a few of Anna's sibs left Gothardism: Suze who had a child out of wedlock, Daniel and a sister (Rebekah) who left after marrying? Interesting, the choices that have been made in that family. From the hard-core fundy Schraders to the more liberal, with Anna and Pris in the middle.

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Yeah, isn't Susanna a single mother? I remember when she started posting pictures on her Facebook of her wearing sleeveless tops and shorts...I figured she stopped drinking the kool-aid long before she could legally leave the home.  I've seen pictures of Daniel's wife and from what I remember, she had bright pink hair and wore regular clothing. I also remember reading they adopted due to issues with infertility. It's a shame he's been shunned. I hope the Kellers can come together eventually.

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